WCF Services in .Net without using “Add Service Reference”

Some Intro:

This post was prepared with motivation to the points that Miguel A. Castro, NetFXHarmonics and also Developer’s Dump mentioned. So to use WCF service efficiently, I won’t use “Add Service Reference” and configure WCF manually. You can already find a nice article on NetFXHarmonics but I just want to explain it in my way. Note that the example in this post is all generated by the use of NetFXHarmonics example so you can find better explanation in that blog.

Note: I will post another article about WCF Services in Silverlight without using “Add Service Reference”.

And another point I want to mentioned is; even I’m interested in Silverlight, I first prepared this post because it seems to me accessing WCF Services in Silverlight is a little bit more complicated. So starting with manual WCF in .Net could be better decision.

Let’s get started:

First, we are starting our example by creating an “Empty Project” in Visual Studio 2008. Then add a Class Library project to this empty project. And throughout the project we will need two main references which are “System.ServiceModel” and “System.Runtime.Serialization”. Note that this Class Library (Contact.Servivce) is our solution for implementation and contact definitions of WCF Service. In this as mentioned in NetFXHarmonics you can use seperate projects for implementation and contacts but I use them together for simplicity for now.  Then create Person.cs to use it to hold our datacontracts.


using System;
using System.Runtime.Serialization;
namespace Contact.Service
[DataContract(Namespace = Information.Namespace.Contact)]
public class Person
//- @Guid -//
public String Guid { get; set; }

//- @FirstName -//
public String FirstName { get; set; }

//- @LastName -//
public String LastName { get; set; }

//- @City -//
public String City { get; set; }

//- @State -//
public String State { get; set; }

//- @PostalCode -//
public String PostalCode { get; set; }

Then  create interface IPersonService.cs.


using System;
using System.Collections.Generic;
using System.ServiceModel;
namespace Contact.Service
[ServiceContract(Namespace = Information.Namespace.Contact)]
public interface IPersonService
//- GetPersonData -//
Person GetPersonData(String personGuid);

And at the end implement those in PersonService.cs.


using System;
using System.Collections.Generic;
using System.ServiceModel;
namespace Contact.Service
public class PersonService : IPersonService
//- @GetPersonData -//
public Person GetPersonData(String personGuid)
return new Person
FirstName = "Huseyin",
LastName = "Cakir",
City = "Izmir",
Guid = "F488D20B-FC27-4631-9FB9-83AF616AB5A6",
PostalCode = "35500",
State = "TR"

Now we need a web site to host WCF Service we have created.  Create a web site called Service, delete Default.aspx as we don’t need and add “Contact.Service” as reference. You should see the “Contact.Service.dll” appears in the web site solution. Then prepare Person.svc as follows;


<%@ ServiceHost Service="Contact.Service.PersonService" %>

Then, it is time to prepare ClientAccessPolicy.xml as traditionally in WCF Services not to have some pain in future.


<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?>
<domain uri="*"/>
<resource path="/" include-subpaths="true"/>

And we almost done with the WCF Service but as a last issue we have to configure our web.config. I didn’t put it here since you can find it in my sample project but note that there exists some important points in that web.config.  First the <service.serviceModel> should be basicHttpBinding and than <compilation debug=”true”>. So our WCF should run now. You should run this WCF to see that you can access Person.svc. In my situation it was in http://localhost:1031/Service/Person.svc.

Now we have our WCF Service let’s access it from our client that uses .Net application (in my example Windows Form).

In clientWindowsForm project, you should add our traditional references to use WCF Services which are “System.ServşceModel” and “System.Runtime.Serialization”. Then copy two classes which we used in Contact.Service (IPersonService.cs and Person.cs).

Then use WCF Service in Windows Form as follows;


private void button1_Click(object sender, EventArgs e)
BasicHttpBinding basicHttpBinding = new BasicHttpBinding();
EndpointAddress endpointAddress = new EndpointAddress("http://localhost:1031/Service/Person.svc");
IPersonService personService = new ChannelFactory<IPersonService>(basicHttpBinding, endpointAddress).CreateChannel();
Person person = personService.GetPersonData("F488D20B-FC27-4631-9FB9-83AF616AB5A6");
textBox1.Text = Convert.ToString("Name:"+person.FirstName + "\t" + "Last Name:"+person.LastName + "\t" + "Guid:"+person.Guid+"\t"+"Postal Code:"+person.PostalCode+"\t"+"State:"+person.State+"\t"+"City:"+person.City);

That’s sit we accessed our WCF without using “Add Service Reference”. Honestly, I could not  explained it well but you can understand it from NetFXHarmonics in detail.

As a recap I used the same example with NetFXHarmonics to make it possible to understand it by looking both posts. But myself learned this access thanks to NetFXHarmonics.

Download Sample Solution

In few days I will prepare the post “WCF Services in  Silverlight without using “Add Service Reference””.

Thanks for your patience!
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